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27th March, 1513 was opened Florida peninsula

On the 27th of March, 1513 Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the peninsula which is called Easter la Florida. Over time, due to inattention of cartographers or other unknown reasons, the word Easter disappeared from the name. Now peninsula is marked on all maps as Florida.

When you open a topographic map of North America and descend into the south-easterly direction, you can find this peninsula. To the west it is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, from the east - by the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida to the south separates it from the island of Cuba. The peninsula is 115 000 sq. km.

The first mention of the peninsula and mysterious water appeared at the end of the XVI century in the letter of the priest Hoonah Ortiz, who was taken prisoner by the Indians. In his address to Juan Ponce de León - governor of the island of Haiti and Puerto Rico - he was told that the Indians had a source of unimaginable power, which they call the Fountain of Youth. According to the priest, the water from this source cures all diseases, makes people more beautiful, returns youth and Indians pray for it. After receiving the letter, de Leon made ​​every effort to find this place.

On the 27th of March 1513, On Easter Sunday, the ships of de Leon landed on the shores of the land, which still was not marked on any map. Travellers were astounded of the magnificence of these places (coast was full of flowers) and called this land Easter la Florida, which translates as "Easter Flower." If we trace the route of the trip on the map, you can notice that the expedition stopped on the Atlantic coast of Florida (now here is the town of San Augustine). In memory of the discoverer in the city center is a monument to Juan Ponce de León.

But de Leon failed to find the Fountain of Youth. In this regard, he decided to organize a second expedition in 1521 and this time landed on the coasts of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the information that had de Leon mysterious lake was 20 miles north- east of the place where today is the port of Charlotte Harbor. Accompanied by a group of soldiers, he waded swamps and jungles to the fountain of youth. However, the Indians attacked intruders to the sacred lake: de Leon was killed in battle.

Once again people began to talk about the miraculous water only in the early XIX century. There was a lot of speculation about the location of the Fountain of youth, until in 1942 Jonas Miller, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution made ​​an announcement that the source is indeed located in the north -west of Port Charlotte and is called Warm Mineral Springs.

This Day in History 27-03-2014